What to Do When KonMari Organizing Doesn’t Work

what to do when konmari organizing doesn't work

Last month, I spoke to a group of entrepreneurs about getting organized.  

At the end of the talk, there was time for questions- one of my favorite parts of any speaking engagement!  

One entrepreneur, asked what I thought about using the KonMari method to get organized.  

(Side note: I’m often asked about this method and I’ll be honest- I’m not a fan!  Because I know that the KonMari method doesn’t work for me.)

So I answered her honestly, but rather brutally: it’s not the best way to get organized if you live in the United States.  

We have more space, and much more stuff than Japanese homes, so the process can be utterly overwhelming!  

And it can take much longer than just doing it the “non-magical” way.

I asked her if she’d tried the KonMari way.  

She hesitated before sheepishly saying yes, but… she’d been working on it for 9 months and she’d only gotten through all the pants in her home!  

We all laughed pretty hard and then I suggested it might be time to try something else!

So what could that something else be?  

Well, one thing is to throw your hands into the air, give up and continue to live in clutter and chaos.  

But that’s an awful suggestion and I’m only kidding, of course.

Instead, why not take the same principles of the KonMari method and tweak them so they’ll work in your household?  

Not everything about the KonMari way won’t work for you.

That’s because the KonMari method is only a spin on what every other organizer knows to be true.

Try this instead of the KonMari method

Here’s how the “modified KonMari” method (a.k.a. my usual method)  works.  

And by the by, the following step-by-step advice is no different than the organizing advice I dish out in any other post!

1. Start in one room.

Concentrate your efforts in just one room.

Declutter each part of the room that doesn’t work.

2.  Let it Go.

Get rid of things you don’t want, won’t use, aren’t in good condition, or are no longer needed.  

Give yourself permission to let go of these things.  It’s ok to let go of these sorts of items!

3.  Work in small areas.  

No, this doesn’t mean squeeze yourself into tight spaces, but rather, don’t bite off more than you can chew.  

Start with one drawer and get it right instead of dumping out every drawer all at once and having a whole lot to deal with at once.  

Work bit by bit and you’ll consistently work your way to being organized.

4.  Put things where you’ll actually use them.  

Store things where you’ll use them.

For example, the laundry stain remover should live with your laundry supplies instead of under the sink with general cleaning supplies.  

If the stain remover stays under the sink, best case is that you’ll forget you have it and worst case is that you’ll buy a second container and have to store both.  

Plus you’ll no longer have the money you spent on the second product.  

This is the put like with like rule that I’m sure you’ve heard before.

5.  Label it.

Label things, especially if you’re using containers that you can’t see through.  

It’ll make it easy to tell what’s what without having to look into the containers.

I have some great label options at the bottom of this post!

6. Be nice.

Go easy on yourself and don’t put yourself down.  

You’re not foolish for accumulating so much.  No one, not even your favorite organizing guru is 100% organized 100% of the time.  Because life.

7.  Have confidence!

Think to yourself: You can get organized.  

You can do this!  Positive affirmations are the ticket to organizing success.

It worked for the Little Engine Who Thought It Could, and it will for you too.

Now, what are you waiting for?  Go tackle a drawer already!

Need even more help?

Ready for a tangible step in the direction of an organized life?  Snag the 365 Days to an Organized You Printable Organizing Calendar!  

Here’s how the calendar works: every day a different easy to accomplish task is on the calendar for every day of the year.

Yes, even when February 29th rolls around on the calendar, there is a task for that day.  

This calendar is great because it’s like having a professional organizer serving up a task to lead you to a more organized life.  

It couldn’t be easier!  Get it and get going!

Great Printable Label Options